Tragic confidence

30 Sep

In August last year I posted a poem by Yehuda Amichai.

From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.

The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.

But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.

This comes to mind as I read in today’s Sydney Morning Herald Film on Christian children’s camp has cross to bear:

…The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Reverend Ted Haggard, says the movie is skewed against Christianity. Mr Haggard, who appears in the movie when Levi and Rachel attend his mega-church in Colorado Springs, told the Denver Post the film was yellow journalism, with “a strong agenda, like any Michael Moore film with the cinematography of The Blair Witch Project“.

“It does represent a small portion of the charismatic movement,” he admits, “but I think it demonises it. Secularists are hoping that evangelical Christians and radicalised Muslims are essentially the same, which is why they will love this film.”

In fact, Fischer compares her evangelising of children with Muslims being brought up in the Middle East. “Our enemies,” she says, are filling up their children’s minds. The difference is that, “excuse me, we have the truth”.

Those last four words are the core of the tragedy, aren’t they?

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5 responses to “Tragic confidence

  1. Daniel

    September 30, 2006 at 10:17 am

    It is the claim of all religious groups that they alone ‘have the truth’. Nothing could be further from the truth! Cheers!

  2. Owner

    September 30, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    Not of “all” necessarily, if only because there are emerging voices that beg to differ from those with exclusive truth claims. Explore some of the sites on the right under “Faith and Philosophy”. Yehuda Amichai, for example, was writing from within Judaism. See, an example from Christianity, The Myths of Christianity – 6: The End of Religion by Scottish Bishop Richard Holloway on Radical Faith. You won’t hear exclusive truth claims in the Uniting Church congregation I attend either.

  3. Daniel

    September 30, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    I used the word ‘groups’ (Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, etc) so as not to get caught up in arguing about the minor theological differences that exist between say Catholics and Protestants.

    Each distinct group has their own dogma and, despite talking about religious tolerance where other faiths are concerned, each claims the spiritual high ground.

    As one who was going to be a Minister at one stage, I have had some experience in these matters! Peace.

  4. ninglun

    September 30, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    Having once been a Calvinist (but no longer) I can understand what you are saying, and don’t deny your experience one iota; I’m just saying that there are some probably heretical souls who go beyond mere tolerance, first by recognising the conditional, fallible and incomplete nature of their own heritage. I am all for a healthy dose of cultural relativism, personally. Peace indeed 🙂

  5. The Artist

    September 30, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    Enjoyed the read and the wonderful comments.

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